If Leonardo da Vinci had a good eye doctor, he might not have become such a great artist. At least that’s what an analysis of paintings and sculptures believed to be modeled after da Vinci suggests.
Visual neuroscientist Christopher Tyler of the City University of London examined six pieces of art, including Salvator Mundi and Vitruvian Man. Five of the pieces depict an eye misalignment...
Trent Jackson’s life changed abruptly in early 2015. The computer engineer thought he had the flu. His then-wife, Donna Sylvia, thought differently. His skin was turning a dark golden yellow, almost brown, “like he was getting some kind of weird tan,” she says. On Wednesday, January 28, Sylvia and Jackson’s brother Todd finally persuaded Jackson to see a doctor.
Sylvia’s suspicions were...
Safety challenged —
Americans consume 8,000 tons of artificial sweeteners every year …confident that the chemical sweeteners are safe. Manufacturers insist that they are; the sugar industry … insists they are not.… [B]oth camps swamped FDA with detailed evidence pro and con. — Science News, October 26, 1968Update
Let’s not sugarcoat it: The debate isn’t over. Fifty years ago,...
Tiny mounds touted as the earliest fossilized evidence of life on Earth may just be twisted rock.
Found in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland, the mounds strongly resemble cone-shaped microbial mats called stromatolites, researchers reported in 2016. But a new analysis of the shape, internal layers and chemistry of the structures suggests that the mounds weren’t shaped by microbes...
When you’re essentially a little ball of floof, flying is hard.
To ride the wind, dandelion seeds stir up a weird type of whirlpool in the air directly above them. The newly discovered way of moving through the air, described October 17 in Nature, resolves a long-standing question about how the seeds stay aloft.
Dandelion seed flight is not unlike the flight of Mary Poppins:...
Reviews & Previews
Nine PintsRose GeorgeMetropolitan Books, $30
The title of journalist Rose George’s new book, Nine Pints, quantifies how much blood George has flowing through her body. Her supply takes a temporary dip in the book’s opening chapter, when she donates about a pint (a story that continues on to recap the amazing accomplishment that is blood banking). This act of generosity is an...
To help self-driving cars drive safely, scientists are looking to an unlikely place: the sea.
A new type of camera inspired by the eyes of mantis shrimps could help autonomous vehicles better gauge their surroundings, researchers report October 11 in Optica. The camera — which detects polarized light, or light waves vibrating on a single plane — has roughly half a million sensors that...
A new microscope is giving researchers an unprecedented view of how mammals are built, cell by cell.
Light sheet microscopes use ultrathin laser beams to illuminate sections of a specimen while cameras record those lit-up sections. Previous iterations of the device have captured detailed portraits of living zebra fish and fruit fly embryos as they develop. Kate McDole, a developmental...
The brain’s hippocampi may be the film editors of our lives, slicing our continuous experiences into discrete cuts that can be stored away as memories. That’s the idea raised by a new study that analyzed brain scan data from people watching films such as Forrest Gump.
“Research like this helps us identify ‘What is an event, from the point of view of the brain?’ ” says memory psychologist...
News in Brief
Two U.S. economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, have received the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their efforts to untangle the economics of climate change and technological innovations.
Nordhaus and Romer “significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge,” the...